Dispute over noise may delay ministry
The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Mid-Levels may not be finished before the handover because of the row over noise generated by its construction.
A complaint filed to the Environmental Protection Department could mean the developer's construction noise permit would not be renewed, Central and Western District Board member Louis Leung Wing-on said yesterday.
The complaint said developer Boldwin Construction had operated mechanical equipment on August 25, a public holiday, without a permit.
Mr Leung said: 'The noise causes tremendous pressure to residents and drives us crazy.
'I am confident it [the developer] will not be able to get the permit renewed this time.' Senior environmental protection officer Ng Ping-sum said his department was collecting evidence from the resident who submitted the complaint and would take action if the contractor had broken the law.
About 27 complaints about noise pollution have been received by the department since work started last year.
A spokesman for the developers, Henry Yip Hing-wah, was worried the new building - financed by property tycoon Li Ka-shing - would be delayed if work was not allowed on public holidays.
'I think the residents do not quite understand our position,' Mr Yip said. 'We have tried to postpone noisy projects to minimise the disturbance being caused.
'Maybe the only way to avoid complaints is to stop all construction.' Mr Yip declined to predict how far work would be behind schedule if the permit was not renewed when it expired next month.
'It depends . . . but we still have time,' he said.
The billion-dollar building in Macdonnell Road was scheduled to be finished on June 1 next year to mark the handover.